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Case Goes Bananas: Woman Gives Up Fight for Monkey

Armani, the Capuchin monkey owned by a Rockville woman, will remain at a primate sanctuary in Virginia.

Armani, the Capuchin monkey owned by a Rockville woman, will remain at a primate sanctuary in Virginia. Credit: Screenshot from WJLA TV
Armani, the Capuchin monkey owned by a Rockville woman, will remain at a primate sanctuary in Virginia. Credit: Screenshot from WJLA TV

A Rockville woman says she's dropping her legal efforts to get her monkey back from a primate sanctuary that has been caring for it since last summer.

In 2007, the county seized Elyse Gazewitz's Capuchin monkey, named Armani. After a court battle, a judge ordered Armani returned.

According to Montgomery County, officers responded to Gazewitz’s house in the 4600 block of Cherry Valley Drive in Rockville on May 15, 2007, for a complaint that there was a malnourished monkey being kept at the address. Authorities said the monkey was well cared for, but that the owner was in violation of a Maryland law that prohibits a person from possessing primates, including monkeys.

But in August 2013, Gazewitz turned Armani over to a monkey rescue group while she was recovering from surgery, according to WJLA TV. She said the arrangement was temporary, but the sanctuary says she signed an agreement to surrender the animal.

The group, American Primate Haven based in Onancock, VA, said it wouldn't return Armani, saying the monkey's welfare is its prime concern.

Gazewitz had been attempting to get the monkey back, but told ABC7 Monday that she's dropping her case out of love for Armani.

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